News Feature | July 31, 2014

How IKEA Is Boosting In-Store Traffic Via Mobile Social Geo-Targeted Ads

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies
Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

IKEA Social Ad Targeting

Ikea's Facebook campaign uses mobile data to prove effectiveness

One IKEA store saw a 31 percent lift in store traffic from 22- to 25-year-olds and an 11 percent lift from 26- to 35-year-olds following a geo-targeted Facebook ad campaign that ran in the social network’s News Feed.

A split test using mobile phone data shows 11% increase in visits to Ikea for those exposed to geo-targeted Facebook ads. Overall, the IKEA store saw an 11 percent increase in store visits among more than 172,000 consumers who were served the ads compared to an otherwise identical group of the same size who had not seen the ads. The results suggest that Facebook ads are driving foot traffic for retailers.

“Marketers have not yet been able to directly link Facebook ads to in-store traffic and sales at this point,” said Brian McDaniel, account supervisor at iProspect. “That said, the consumer has their mobile with them at all times and advertisers can pick up on their activity based on location.

“By knowing where they are, you can then target them with specific messaging related to a nearby store with the intent of raising awareness of an in-store promotion and driving the sale,” he said.

While the spend on Facebook advertising has been quickly growing because of the amount of time that consumers are spending there, there has been a lack of quality data about how effective these ads are.

For bricks-and-mortar retailers, being able to drive traffic into stores is important because this is still where the lion’s share of their sales are happening. As a result, many are looking beyond simple social advertising and at strategies that combine location and mobile with social for the biggest impact.

An experimental campaign put together by Vizeum on behalf of Ikea has given a glimpse of the potential for accurate marketing-spend attribution through the use of social network and mobile phone data.

The test campaign, conducted over two weeks, matched Facebook usage and EE data to measure the uplift in visits to the Ikea store in Cardiff from those who had seen targeted Ikea adverts on Facebook. The results showed an 11% average increase in store visits among more than 172,000 people who were served adverts, compared with an otherwise identical same-size group that had not seen the adverts.

The geo-targeted IKEA campaign delivered ads on Facebook in the British city of Cardiff during December 2013 and January 2014, with 1.4 million impressions served overall. The ads were created by IKEA’s social agency Isobar, which is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network.

The additional store traffic generated by the campaign helped the campaign deliver a return-on-investment of 6:1.

This is not Ikea’s first foray into new technology.  Last year it enhanced the shopping experience for its product catalog using augmented reality and also introduced an iPhone application that lets consumers browse its collection and find in-store items.

“Paid social is now a must for marketers given that most people/consumers live & breath social on a daily basis,” said Brittany Richter, supervisor of social media at iProspect. “Retailers should first understand what they want to gain out of their social channels – awareness, likes, followers, driving traffic to the brick & mortar site or driving sales on-line.

“Retailers have a major opportunity to get creative with targeting segmentation, breaking down their larger target audience in to different segments, and targeting them with personalized content,” she said. “These platforms know a lot about their users, and advertisers should be using that to the brands’ advantage by serving relevant and somewhat personalized content that resonates and inspires or motivates action.

Richard Morris, managing director of Vizeum, said social media now plays a vital role in the advertising strategy for brands: "This study clearly demonstrates the impact that ads on Facebook have on brick-and-mortar foot traffic for retailers. These innovative strategies that combine mobile, local and social media for our clients are the future of digital marketing. The methodology is brilliantly executed, and the results show clearly, empirically, that Facebook adverts have driven real-world footfall."